On Bauer Business Focus — A conversation on tax fraud with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.
Tax season is a time of frustration and confusion for most taxpayers, and it has also become a time for scams. This year phone fraud has been listed as one of the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is a growing concern, Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C. attorney David Gair said.
Gair recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss how phone fraud happens and why it’s increased this year. It’s been reported that over 20,000 fake calls have been made this year and victims have lost at least $1 million.
“This year is a particularly bad year for telephone fraud. The scammers started by targeting recent immigrants and then moved on to the general population,” Gair said. “The scammers make unsolicited calls to folks and they sound very official. They tell the people that they’re revenue officers or special agents and they’re given a badge number. The agents will threaten them with arrest, deportation or loss of their driver’s license. It’s a pretty bad deal.”
Gair cited budget shortfalls and the IRS’ lack of control over their computer system to control fraud as the main reason for the increase.
“The drop in IRS employees is substantial. I think we’re at a ten-year low right now,” Gair added. “There’s just a lot less people right now to stop this. I think lower numbers and less budget for the IRS to keep control of this is a major problem.”
Click here to hear the full interview.